Skip to main content

Jama Masjid Shahi Imam only 'reiterated' Modi-Shah view of new citizenship law

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Amit Shah
By Sanjeev Sirohi*
“To protest is the democratic right of the people of India. No one can stop us from doing so. However, it is important that it is controlled. Keeping our emotions in control is the most important part”, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari has said, calling upon people to exercise restraint and keep their emotions under control while demonstrating.
Those who are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have the right to protest peacefully, but not the right to hold the nation to ransom, he urged, asking people, including the youth, to not be provoked by nefarious elements. Bukhari explained the difference between CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying these are two different things.
Seeking to allay fears of Muslims he reiterated what Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been saying, that “the CAA is for those people who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014.”
Bukhari said, “The Muslim refugees who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will not get Indian citizenship. It has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India.” He added, “While CAA has become a law, NRC has been only announced. It has not become a law yet.”
Bukhari’s comments are significant. They come in the backdrop of anti-CAA protests which turned violent in northeast Delhi’s Seelampur area. Police used teargas shells to disperse the protesters. Two buses were torched. The police also stopped vehicular movement on the road, which connects Seelampur with Jafrabad, due to the demonstration. The protest in Seelampur took place in the wake of clashes between police and protesters in Jamia Millia Islamia over the citizenship law.
CAA seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India without documentation. It grants citizenship to non-Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who fled religious persecution and arrived in India before December 31, 2014. They will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in six years. So far 12 years of residence has been the standard eligibility requirement for naturalisation.
In the aftermath of the partition on the ground of religion, as insisted by Muslim League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, followed by communal riots that followed, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan signed a treaty, also known as the Delhi Agreement, on security and rights of minorities in their respective countries. 
India gave constitutional guarantees for rights of minorities, and Pakistan had a similar provision in the Objectives Resolution adopted by its Constituent Assembly. Amit Shah claims that India has kept its end of the bargain while Pakistan mocked at it by ensuring that Hindus and Sikhs are either killed or harassed or forcibly converted.
All know how Hindus, Sikhs among others have been forcefully converted in Pakistan, their temples and gurudwaras plundered and vandalized, and this alone explains why their population stands hugely decimated.
Why are US, UK and European countries and the United Nations lecturing India on human rights and secularism, among other things? They never said anything on this, nor did they take any step to ensure that no terror training camps are set up in Pakistan. Worse, US directly funded terror groups, as acknowledged recently by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, admitting that 40,000 terrorists were active.
Amit Shah said that India was wrongly partitioned by Congress on the flimsy basis of religion. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan told Jawaharlal Nehru, “Nehru what have you done? You have made me a foreigner in my own country by agreeing to the partition of India on the ground of religion! Should I feel proud of it?”
Muslims must be assured they will to be affected. Centre has said persecuted Muslims could be allowed in if their bona fide claims are established
Why Congress buckled for partition when Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Hasrat Mohani and many other Muslim Congress leaders didn’t want the partition of India on the ground of religion? Why were the disastrous consequences of partition not thought out?
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are all Muslim countries where Islamic law prevails and where people belonging to other religions have been constantly exterminated, tortured and humiliated to most degrading extent. Even the Buddha’s statues were not spared in Afghanistan.
So, where will the minorities in these countries go if not to India, which was their mother country even before Pakistan and Bangladesh were formed?
The Congress and other parties are opposing CAA on the ground that it leaves out Muslims and violates Article 14 which guarantees equality. They feel very strongly that Shias are persecuted in Pakistan and they too must be allowed to come in India.
Indeed, Sunni terror groups which have got direct patronage from Pakistani Army and ISI keep attacking Shia shrines and keep killing them also in huge numbers in Pakistan as we keep reading also time and again! This is the biggest slap on the face of Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was himself a Shia and who was the founding father of Pakistan.
However, if Shias are compelled to take refuge in India, Pakistan must be also integrated with India and all political parties must acknowledge that partition on the basis of religion should not have been allowed to happen in 1947.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has refused to stay CAA, and has issued a notice to the Centre on a clutch of 59 petitions challenging the amendments and said it would hear the matter on January 22. Also, a Bench of Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant have instructed Attorney General KK Venugopal to ask the government to publicise the provisions of the Act through the media to remove confusion.
Muslims must be assured that they are not going to be affected. The Centre has said that Muslims who are persecuted could be allowed in India once their bona fide claims are established, as we saw in case of famous singer Adnan Sami.
Pakistan is miffed at this. Does Pakistan want that Muslims from Pakistan to settle down in India as Pakistan does not offer them much opportunities, and minority groups like Shias, Ahmadiyas among others are unwanted?
Partition cannot be undone. But certainly those who have suffered from it must be provided maximum relief.
---
Advocate, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen